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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

1-2
28 July 2018 Venue Whaddon Road Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

Cheltenham Town
1 - 2
Walsall FC

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Match Reports

Cheltenham 1-2 Walsall

28 July 2018

The Saddlers’ pre-season campaign concluded with a 2-1 victory at League Two Cheltenham, courtesy of goals from Nicky Devlin and Andy Cook.

The Robins came agonisingly close to taking an early lead when Liam McAliden slipped in Jacob Maddox, who side-footed against the inside of the post.

Gary Johnson’s side spurned a glorious opportunity to open the scoring on 19 minutes.

Manny Duku rolled Trialist A, who then brought him down inside the area, but the ex-Hayes & Yeading man drilled the resulting penalty wide of Liam Roberts’ right-hand upright.

The Saddlers’ first attempt came on 26 minutes, Josh Ginnelly bending a delightful 25-yard shot towards the bottom corner but a full-stretch Scott Flinders pushed the ball away.

The visitors should have been awarded a penalty on the stroke of half-time as Andy Cook was held by Will Boyle, but referee John Busby waved play on.

But Walsall did make the breakthrough with virtually the last kick of the half, Zeli Ismail’s reverse pass finding Devlin, who rifled an unstoppable right-footed drive into the far top corner.

A strong start to the second period saw Ismail fizz a 20-yard drive narrowly over and Cook flash a powerful strike inches over the bar.

Only the woodwork denied the Saddlers a second goal with 16 minutes remaining, Trialist A rising highest to crash a thumping header against the post from Luke Leahy’s corner.

The goal frame came to the Robins’ rescue again moments later as Maz Kouhyar’s low drive hit the foot of the post, with Ismail lashing the rebound over.

Dean Keates’ men finally doubled their advantage with ten minutes left, Kouhyar teeing up Ismail, whose firm strike was spilled by Flinders, with Cook reacting quickest to poke home.

Cheltenham were handed a lifeline in the closing stages when Brian Graham converted a penalty after Trialist A was penalised for holding Jordon Forster, but it proved only a consolation.

 

Team (4-4-2): L Roberts; Devlin, Trialist A, Guthrie, Leahy; Ismail (Candlin 82’), Dobson, Chambers (Kinsella 82’), Ginnelly (Kouhyar 77’); Parker (Morris 45’), Cook.

 

Attendance: 1,130 (222 Saddlers supporters).

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